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Time for Re-creation

Time for Re-creationSummertime is known for recreation – sports, swimming, biking and hiking!

Unfortunately what is supposed to be fun, can also be an extra burden on our bodies, minds and spirits. There are just so many hours in the day, and with extended daylight hours, we try to cram even more into our work and family schedules. Even that week or two of vacation can generate more stress so that we return home more worn out than when we left. Now there is unpacking, laundry, and grocery shopping to complete before going back to the same busy work schedule.

As a retired teacher, I dreaded all the Back-to-School advertisements because it meant my life was “on hold” for the next nine month school year.

Then a wise friend and mentor teacher, taught me to slow down and “re-create.” First of all, she taught me to schedule pockets of time to enjoy during my already packed schedule. She told me to first plan the morning and afternoon commute time. Previously, I had dreaded the traffic and was super tense going and coming. By allowing ample time I popped in relaxing music instead of listening to the horrible daily news. I learned to do head rolls and neck exercises at the traffic lights, and even a few deep breathing exercises for added measure!

Secondly, she taught me to visualize my first ten minutes or so in the building.

I knew I had to park, navigate through the masses of teenagers hanging around outside, and work my way to the teachers’ lounge for my mail. So I pictured myself calm, smiling at both students and colleagues and ready with positive greetings. I knew my homeroom high school students would be hanging out around my classroom with a myriad of questions, problems and “situations.” I learned to multi-task as I employed their assistance with morning tasks, while solving the world’s problems with them.
Leisurely lunch with my fellow teachers rarely happened. If necessary, I was prepared to have lunch in my room with students who needed help, or meet afterward for a walk around the track while we talked. I soon learned to have a few of my advanced students available at lunch for tutoring or peer mediation, buying a little more peace and quiet for myself. Many students don’t like the hustle and bustle of the cafeteria either and would love to hang out and help file, organize and assist in numerous ways. I kept a few healthy treats around for a way of thanking them.

 My “mentor” taught me to not just stop and smell the roses, but plant the roses for others to enjoy as well.

I began looking for little ways to help a fellow teacher, and over-anxious student, or a friend I might phone on my trip home. I knew to expect the unexpected when I arrived home, so I saved some of my drive time for more relaxation and breathing. We all have different home schedules, family situations and everyday stressors that demand our time and attention. So only you can work in your own pockets of time there. But learn to be creative with re-creating. Have the children help one another if possible, and barter with your spouse for occasional “time off.” These may not apply to you, but something will.

Lastly, when possible, get as much sleep as you can.

To get into bed with an attitude of gratitude for all of your blessings, no matter how many challenges may have gotten in the way, makes all the difference in the world. Some nights sleeping better may replace sleeping longer, but it makes for a much easier morning when you have to get up and do it all over again. Re-create memories of all of the accomplishment of the day, and you may actually fall asleep with a smile on your face. All of this may not come easy at first, but keep practicing and don’t give up. If you have typically been negative, stressed and short-tempered, others may wonder what happened to the “real you.” Simply let them know you have re-created, and they can too.

Read more posts by Debra Peppers, Ph.D., here.


The online feature magazine, JenningsWire.com, is created by National PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book promotion services to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major high impact radio talk interview shows, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media outlets and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers across the country.